One of the biggest perks of freelancing is not only being able to choose the projects you work on, but also when and how you would like to work on them. It gives you the luxury of diversity and the thrill of starting something new every so often.
However, as the adage goes – with great power comes great responsibility. The lack of rigid structures often has the tendency to lend itself to missed opportunities or follies in executing your project. To avoid these, it is essential for freelancers to build frameworks, guidelines and processes for themselves and abide by them for every project. Checklists are often a good way to go about these processes.
No matter how different your next project is from your previous one, make sure you set standard processes for how to tackle every new project. Need some help putting it together? Here’s a checklist you can use as a guideline for your own!
Understand the Project Completely
If you’re lucky, the work provider will have created a detailed job description for you to understand the project in its entirety. If not, go ahead and do some research. Make sure you have completely understood the project and have what it takes to see it to completion
Make sure you have the time
Don’t take up a project if you don’t feel like you will be able to dedicate the required amount of time to it. Remember – a project missed is better than a shoddy project. The professional world is smaller than you think and reputation plays a big role in the life of a freelancer.
Apply with confidence
Once you are convinced you have the time and the talent to complete the project, go ahead – apply! In your application let the work providers know why you are the best fit for this project and dispel any doubts from their minds. Use creative pitches and samples of your past work to let them know why they should pick you.
Put potential clients under the scanner
Just as work providers will analyze you for your skills, it is up to you to make sure you want to work with them too. Whether it’s online or through a meeting, make sure you gather enough information about them before you agree to take on a project. If you don’t see synergies matching, there’s nothing wrong with politely declining.
Leave no agreements for later
Once you and your client are both sure you want to work together, make sure you get all the nitty-gritty’s out of the way before you begin. Decide on the scope of work, amount and methods of compensation, ownership or work etc. If possible, it is also very helpful to have these approved via email, once you have reached a consensus.
Be realistic, be honest, be communicative
Whether it’s deadlines or the scope of work, it is very important to have your client constantly in the loop. Set deadlines that you know you can achieve and if you see yourself waver from them, be sure to keep the client informed. Regular, honest updates help build faith and trust in the client’s mind and often, the client is more concerned with quality than rigid timelines anyway. For all you know, that could be your key to repeat business!
It is always important to remember that no freelance project is just that one project. More often than not, it’s a window to a world of opportunities out there. Whether it’s repeat business from the same client or referrals from happy customers, there’s always scope to grow. And with a simple checklist and an organized process, no one can stop you from making it big!
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